Schools in Toronto, York Region and Peel Region will stay closed until Feb. 16 but everywhere else it will be back to school on Monday February 8th.
Schools in the three COVID-19 hot spots will remain closed for an additional week and will open after the Family Day long weekend.
“While this has not been easy on Ontario parents, students and our education staff, I want to be clear safety is what has and will drive our decisions every step of the way,” Lecce said.
“We were the first to close schools in the country last March and today we are the only province that decided to cautiously and gradually reopen our schools.”
Lecce said the back to school decision had “unanimous support of all local medical officers of health,” but that he would not hesitate to take further action if it’s recommended by Williams.
“Our aim is to make sure schools remain safe,” he said. “We have followed the expert and medical advice of the chief medical officer of health and local medical officers of health. If they give us an indication that there is a risk to schools, to communities, or to your child and to our staff, what I mean is, I will not hesitate to act. Because, for us, this is a very clear message we’re sending to the population, we’re reopening because it is safe”
While Ontario’s COVID numbers have improves significantly in recent days there is still a significant number of new cases breaking out in Toronto, Peel and York. Toronto reported 444 new COVID-19 infections, while 199 more cases found in Peel Region and 110 were reported in York Region in this morning’s tally.